I have found this upcoming election to be hard for me as student and as a voting member. The parties and candidates have not made it easy to see what is clear and what their true intentions are. As a college student and board member at my student union, it is very important to me that we have a government in place that cares about students and the services they need to be successful in their academic careers. Colleges across the province are underfunded and unfortunately dwindles every year. Teachers are unhappy with this situation, the way they are paid and the lack of tools and resources they need to be successful at their jobs.
Students and teachers entrust their institutions with their education, futures and livelihoods but what they get back is outdated courses and outdated learning and testing methods and precarious working conditions. These stress out both students and teachers as course curriculums don’t work for either the students or the teachers delivering it.
The current state of college institutions is very flawed and needs to be changed. The post-secondary school system doesn’t seem to be a priority has become expendable to the government which is why cuts to education always seem to be the easiest and the first idea to come to their mind.
This can change and we have the power to change this through the people we choose to elect. People that will take responsibility for the things impacting our community and our students who are supposed to be the future. This is why it is important for all of us as students to take part in this election and speak up for what we care for. Voting in the right candidate who supports good post-secondary education policies is highly important and I hope all students take part in this election as our futures are on the line.Read more
June 7 is an important day for part-time students like myself, to voice their concerns through their vote in the upcoming 2018 Ontario Provincial Elections.
With all the parties and candidates running, it is crucial to be aware of the promises or goals politicians make while trying to get your vote. Research party and candidate track record (especially when in power) to see if they really hold true to their commitments and advocacy. It is also important to be aware of your own needs and raise concerns to your own regional political candidates no matter what party they align with.
In the years to come, I wish to see the Ontario Government make a commitment to making our education more accessible to all people, especially for mature & part-time, international, and continuing education students. This election season, I will be looking for candidates that are willing to invest more into our education system to make it tuition and barrier-free, so that students, students with disabilities, both domestic and international, can attend school. What this looks like is the inclusion of part-time students in the Ontario Student Grant. This includes better access to grants and supports for students who need accommodations and or have disabilities from not only our campuses, but also from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Last but certainly not the least, mental health supports on campuses are not adequate enough for students.
Across the province, there are many other issues that impact post-secondary education like transportation, health care and especially child care for students with families. Part-time students should also consider these issues before voting for a representative on June 7.
After June 7, it is important to still keep our elected representatives accountable for their actions (whether you have voted for them or not).
I encourage folks to meet with or communicate with your elected representative about any ongoing or unaddressed issues that need to be paid attention to.
There are also other ways to work with your local students’ union along with the Canadian Federation of Students on these issues. It's important, but there are many other ways folks can find themselves involved (while having fun) in making our post-secondary education system much more better now, and for the future.
As your Part-time and Continuing Education Caucus Chairperson, I will continue to advocate and have an open ear to our membership's concerns.
See you at the polls!Read more